47. Kim Casko

The Iowa Idea: Kim Casko

“Take your time to figure it out.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Kim Casko. Kim is President and CEO of the Iowa City Area Business` Partnership, serving nearly 800 member businesses throughout Johnson County and beyond.

Kim grew up in New York and lived in four different states before moving to Iowa. Prior to joining the Business Partnership in fall 2016, she worked in both the private and public sectors – serving as an information technology consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, career advisor at the University of Maryland, change management director at the University of Illinois, and organizational effectiveness manager at ACT.

We discuss her journey into community leadership. We talk about leadership and crucible moments that shape us as leaders, as well as the importance of self-care and resilience. We also talked about EOS, the entrepreneur operating system, and how Iowa City Area Business Partnership used EOS to help guide their recent rebranding efforts.

I appreciated Kim using the lens of a Steve Jobs’ quote – “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

It was an honor having Kim join me on the show. I thank her for sharing her time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Kim

Kim Casko is President and CEO of the Iowa City Area Business Partnership, serving nearly 800 member businesses throughout Johnson County and beyond.

Kim grew up in New York and lived in four different states before moving to Iowa. Prior to joining the Business Partnership in fall 2016, she had various careers in both the private and public sectors – serving as an information technology consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, career advisor at the University of Maryland, change management director at the University of Illinois, and organizational effectiveness manager at ACT.

She is passionate about individual, team, organizational, and community development – anything that has to do with development and growth! Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in management and psychology from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Northwestern University in Illinois.

Kim resides in Iowa City with her husband, John, and adorable dog, Rocky. She enjoys anything food related, sitting on her front porch, and planning (with lots of spreadsheets and flip charts!).

Links:

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

46. Kenn Goodman

The Iowa Idea: Kenn Goodman

“That one year off turned into the rest of my life.”

 In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Kenn Goodman. For the past 30 years, Kenn has been an important part of Chicago’s indie music scene. Known for his bands The Service and The New Duncan Imperials, he formed his independent label Pravda Records in1984; and has played with everyone from Tiny Tim to Eddie Vedder.

We discuss his journey into music and running an independent record label, including his first professional gig, as a high schooler, working for an Elvis impersonator. I was first exposed to Kenn (aka Skipper) in the early ‘90s catching The New Duncan Imperials. Those were can’t miss shows where the band would rip the roof of the joint. I appreciated Kenn talking about the depth of The New Duncan Imperials universe, especially the lengths they’d go to get press in advance of shows during a pre-world wide web era. I appreciated Kenn’s insights regarding the pros and cons of the recording industry over the past few decades.

It was an honor having Kenn on the show. I thank him for sharing his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Kenn

For the past 30 years, Kenn Goodman has been an integral part of Chicago’s indie music scene. Known for his bands The Service and The New Duncan Imperials, he formed his independent label Pravda Records in1984 and has played with everyone from Tiny Tim to Eddie Vedder.

THE IMPERIAL SOUND is a swinging pop band with roots in 1970’s AM radio, Chicago soul, and first-rate songcraft. Kenn Goodman (keyboards) and Rick Mosher (guitars and vocals) have been partners in a variety of musical ventures, from the Chicago-based Pravda Records store and label to the legendary trash-rock trio The New Duncan Imperials, for many years. Their latest incarnation, as the founders of The Imperial Sound, puts them at the center of a group of seasoned musicians with years of experience and a drive for self-reinvention.

Kenn played his first Hammond at 15. He was in the recording studio with his high school band Starfire when he got hooked on the warmth and richness of the Hammond sound. By 17 he’d outgrown Starfire and began touring with an Elvis impersonator band, The Keith Miller Band and TCB. He toured with them throughout the midwest until forming a new wave band BB and The Guns his first year at Northern Illinois University.

It wasn’t until recording The Service’s first full-length album “America’s Newest Hitmakers” in 1986 that he got his hands on another Hammond. He took full advantage of it. In particular, the opening track “Time Was” and “The Trouble Begins” spotlight Kenn’s love for that sound. They recorded their follow up album “George’s Duty-Free Goulash” with Butch Vig at Smart Studios in Madison, WI.

In 1990 members of The Service formed The New Duncan Imperials where Kenn became bassist and keyboardist. New Duncan Imperials recorded 8 albums and toured extensively thru Europe, Canada, and the U.S., and contributed music to beer commercials, television shows, and movie soundtracks.

Kenn currently plays with The Imperial Sound, Expo ’76, The Renaldo Domino Experience, and The Goldstars. He’s the musical director for Renaldo Domino and Motown artist Andre Williams. Kenn also plays the B-3 with soul legend Archie Bell and on countless studio recordings. His catalog of music appears in film, television, and commercials.

Links:

www.pravdamusic.com

www.newduncanimperials.com

www.theimperialsound.com

www.expo76.com

https://leestavall.com/

Additional music in the episode appears courtesy of Pravda Records, cleared by their CEO, Kenn Goodman.

  • The Quarry performed by The Imperial Sound featuring Kathy Ruestow
  • Jägermeister performed by The New Duncan Imperials
  • Hugs and Handshakes performed by The New Duncan Imperials

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

45. Vivianne Castillo

The Iowa Idea: Vivianne Castillo

“Don’t let anybody take your voice away. Speak your truth and see where it lands.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Vivianne Castillo. Vivianne is a User Experience Researcher with 8+ years of psychology and research experience spanning multiple contexts, cultures, and industries whose work and opinions have been written about in Slate, Fortune, Huffington Post, and ELLE Magazine. Prior to becoming a User Experience Researcher, she worked primarily in the arenas of human services and counseling, where she tackled issues like shame, empathy, vulnerability and compassion.

She is also the Founder of HmntyCntrd, an online course and community aimed at helping UX Professionals learn how to lean into new conversations around deeper human-centered issues, so they can understand how to craft equitable, inclusive experiences, know how to navigate UX topics that don’t have easy or obvious answers, and transform the status quo of what it means to be human-centered in our professional & personal lives.

We discuss her journey into UX research, the important work she is doing with HmntyCntrd and her academic background in theology. We dig deep into the importance of being humanity-centered vs human-centered; why selfcare is essential for UX practitioners, and the need for genuinely inclusive and supportive experiences. Vivianne shares the importance of building foundational skills, vulnerability, as well as cultural humility. I appreciated Vivianne’s framing regarding cultural humility, human-centered design, and true diversity and inclusion efforts.

It was an honor having Vivianne on the podcast. I was first introduced to Vivianne’s intellect and insight when I read the introduction she wrote for a design ethics book. Since then we were able to meet at a conference and I love her powerful and thoughtful voice on Twitter and LinkedIn. Check out the links to some of her talks in episode description. I thank Vivianne for sharing her time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Vivianne

Vivianne Castillo is a User Experience Researcher with 8+ years of psychology and research experience spanning multiple contexts, cultures, and industries whose work and opinions have been written about in Slate, Fortune, Huffington Post, and ELLE Magazine. Prior to becoming a User Experience Researcher, she worked primarily in the arenas of human services and counseling, where she tackled issues like shame, empathy, vulnerability and compassion.

She is also the Founder of HmntyCntrd, an online course and community aimed at helping UX Professionals learn how to lean into new conversations around deeper human-centered issues (e.g. the role of identity, privilege and power in design, the misapplication of empathy, and coping with compassion fatigue and trauma in UX) so that they can understand how to craft equitable, inclusive experiences, know how to navigate UX topics that don’t have easy or obvious answers, and transform the status quo of what it means to be human-centered in our professional & personal lives.

Ultimately, Vivianne will tell you that her work is driven by her desire to impact businesses and organizational ecosystems as a means to elevate the humanity and dignity of everyone — yes, everyone.

Links:

Website: HmntyCntrd

Twitter: vcastillo630

Instagram: choose.courage

Talks: Ethics & Power: Understanding the Role of Shame in UX ResearchThe Siren Call of Self-Neglect

Podcasts: Design Observer | S7E4: Vivianne CastilloSelf Care As A UX Researcher,

Articles: Why Self-Care Matters in UX ResearchSelf-Care is for UX | Medium SeriesVivianne’s Medium Writings

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

44. Chemda

The Iowa Idea: Chemda

“One minute at a time.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Chemda. Chemda was born in Israel and has lived in New York City since she was 4 years old, currently residing in Queens. She is a talk show host, writer and singer. She hosts the What’s My Name show, co-hosts as ‘The Girl’ of Keith and The Girl (KATG), a daily, award-winning comedy talk show with comedian Keith Malley. Navigating her life after having a football-sized tumor removed from her chest and getting divorced in the same year, she created OMAT – one minute at a time (https://store.keithandthegirl.com/products/omat-club). OMAT is designed to turn negative patterns into positive habits.

We discuss Chemda’s creative journey, including recording over 3,300 episodes of Keith and the Girl, being featured on the cover of The Village Voice, and dig deep into the development of OMAT. I appreciated her insights on taking care oneself and focusing on self-improvement – changing ourself, rather than trying to change others — especially the power of asking important questions and living an examined life.

It was an honor having Chemda on the podcast. I thank her for sharing her time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Chemda

Chemda was born in Israel and has lived in New York City since she was 4 years old. She currently lives in Queens. She is a talk show host, writer and singer.

Chemda hosts the What’s My Name show, a themed talk show.  She also co-hosts as ‘The Girl’ of Keith and The Girl (KATG), a daily, award-winning comedy talk show with comedian Keith Malley. Chemda’s first published book, What Do We Do Now, was released March, 2010 and went into its second printing within one week of its release. Written with KATG co-host Keith Malley, the book offers comedic yet sincere relationship advice. The book can be found anywhere books are sold.

Chemda made her first professional appearance in 1995 on well-known reggae artist Dr. Israel’s second album. Since then, she was the lead singer and choreographer for Mighty Dub Katz; featured on Comedy Central aside comedian Jeff Ross; and teamed up with Rhys Fulber (formerly of Front Line Assembly) for Conjure One as writer and singer, with songs featured on ESPN and EA Sports’ FIFA 2002.

Along with recent European tours, Chemda completed a US/Canadian tour as the sole vocalist for Conjure One, performing in venues such as Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC and Irving Plaza, NYC. She has recorded vocals for the follow-up album to Conjure One entitled Extraordinary Ways.

Chemda is a singer/songwriter on the album Patterns of War as part of dubstep band Dreadtone International. She recently finished recording the album for the rock-musical Viva Patshiva, and she continues to write and collaborate with various artists around the world.

Check out Chemda’s holiday album, Christmas Classics by The Girl and right now, you can download her original song Surrender at a ‘pay what you want’ price here. You can also purchase voodoolulu’s Meooow Royale, which features Chemda on vocals.

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

43. Shonali Bhowmik

The Iowa Idea: Shonali Bhowmik

“Write it down.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Shonali Bhowmik. Shonali is a proud multi-hyphenate — she is a musician, actress, comedienne, filmmaker, and writer. She currently co-hosts her own live variety show podcast series called We Don’t Even Know. She is the leader of the indie rock band Tigers and Monkeys for which she is the songwriter, singer, and guitar player. She is a member of the popular comedy collective Variety Shac, with Chelsea Peretti, Heather Lawless, and Andrea Rosen.

We discuss Shonali’s early interest in music and her path from Nashville, to Atlanta, to law school, to that of a creative in New York City. Also, a little extra for experts, listen for Shonali’s doorbell playing Fur Elise – even her doorbell exudes positive vibes. Her life and approach align with the key themes of the Iowa Idea – creativity, craft, and persistence.

It was an honor having Shonali on the podcast. I thank her for sharing her time, her insights, as well as her positive and affirming energy. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Shonali

Shonali Bhowmik is a musician, actress, comedienne, filmmaker and writer. She currently co-hosts her own live variety show podcast series called We Don’t Even Know. She is the leader of the indie rock band Tigers and Monkeys for which she is the songwriter, singer, and guitar player. She is a member of the popular comedy collective Variety Shac, with Chelsea Peretti, Heather Lawless, and Andrea Rosen.  Shonali was the host of the Shac’s popular Upright Citizen’s Brigade live show.  She has also created television pilots for the Adult Swim and IFC networks. She wrote and directed the short film, Sardines Out Of A Can which was screened in 6 cities across the globe including Madrid, Spain; Bangalore, India, and won best romantic comedy short at the Bare Bones International Film Fest 2014. She has her own independent music and comedy record label called Little Lamb Recordings.  She was one of the leaders of Ultrababyfat who was featured in David Cross’s tour DVD Let America Laugh. Shonali has released eight albums including her solo full-length release 100 Oaks Revival and those with her rock n’ roll outfits, Tigers and Monkeys, and Ultrababyfat. Tigers and Monkeys’ newest album Saturday Destroyer was released in September 2018.  Shonali can be seen in the feature-length romantic comedy, Isn’t It Romantic which was released in February 2019.

Shonali’s Websites

www.shonalibhowmik.com

www.tigersandmonkeys.com

www.wdekpodcast.com

Variety Shac YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP_wP07uxZmKjAMBawBRhoQ

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

42. Bill Veeck

The Iowa Idea: Bill Veeck

I try not to break the rules but merely to test their elasticity.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, Gino Chirio returns as we celebrate October baseball, even though our beloved South Siders were bounced from the playoffs. Gino and I are not talking about his Harvard Business Review article. Instead, we are talking about one of our innovation, customer experience, and baseball heroes, Bill Veeck. Veeck, as in wreck, was a promoter, an innovator, and a romantic. Through his journey, we’re able to see a true innovation and customer experience pioneer.

Bill Veeck created some of the most iconic experiences in Chicago baseball – he installed the ivy at Wrigley Field, as well as its classic scoreboard. He designed the exploding scoreboard at Comiskey Park and was in charge during the Sox infamous Disco Demolition Night promotion. Veeck’s promotional stunts and support of the players (from integration and support of Curt Flood’s free agency) enraged baseball’s white-collar, and frankly boring ownership, yet he engaged with and enthralled fans. Gino and I look at Veeck’s inventions through the lens of Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation to highlight innovation and engagement across an array of categories. Deep down, Gino and I believe that Veeck was the inspiration for Dos Equis most interesting man in the world. Bill was a pioneer and a free-spirit that demonstrated the importance of bringing your authentic self to work. As Veeck said “I was in the game for love. After all, where else can an old-timer with one leg, who can’t hear or see, live like a king while doing the only thing I wanted to do?”

Thanks to Gino for taking the time to join me and help explore the innovation and genius that was Bill Veeck. I hope you enjoy the episode.

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

41. Dana James

The Iowa Idea: Dana James

“Your voice is valuable.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Dana James. Dana is the founder of Black Iowa News, a website and newsletter, to chronicle the lives of Black Iowans in the era of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement.

She is a lifelong Iowan and award-winning writer. Dana wants you to know three things: We are still in a pandemic, Breonna Taylor still needs justice, and Black Lives Matter.

She worked for seven years as a reporter at the Des Moines Register where she covered education and minority affairs. Her work has appeared in several publications.

We discuss Dana’s interest in news and her path to journalism, as well as the reasons why she created Black Iowa News.

It was an honor to have Dana on the podcast. I thank her for sharing her time, her voice, and her insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Dana

Dana James is a lifelong Iowan who founded Black Iowa News, a website and newsletter, to chronicle the lives of Black Iowans in the era of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. The award-winning writer wants you to know three things: We are still in a pandemic, Breonna Taylor still needs justice and Black Lives Matter. Full stop.

She worked for seven years as a reporter at the Des Moines Register where she covered education and minority affairs. Her work has appeared in several publications. In between writing positions, she obtained an Iowa insurance license and worked in benefits and underwriting.

Outside of work, the newlywed enjoys spending time with her husband and visiting the beautiful John Pappajohn Sculpture Park in downtown Des Moines.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Grand View University.

You can find Black Iowa News at https://blackiowanews.substack.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackIowaNews

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blackiowanews.

Email blackiowanews@icloud.com

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

40. Cassini Nazir

The Iowa Idea: Cassini Nazir

“It’s about people.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Cassini Nazir. Cassini is a designer of conversations, curriculum, and interfaces.

He is a Clinical Associate Professor in New College at the University of North Texas where he teaches classes in design thinking and interaction design. Prior to joining UNT, he taught at The University of Texas at Dallas, where he was founding director of the ATEC Usability Lab, which fosters collaborative research with community partners and offers experiential learning to students

While at UT Dallas, he was Director of Design for the ArtSciLab, a transdisciplinary research lab helping the arts, science, and technology communities by pursuing initiatives of societal urgency and cultural timeliness.

We discuss the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration and intentionality in good design – covering topics like the Heilmeier Catechism and exformation. We dig into advice and mentorship. I was moved by a story Cassini shares about his father that serves as a reminder of leading by example and at the end of the day “it’s about people.”

It was an honor to have Cassini on the podcast. I thank him for his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Cassini

Cassini Nazir is a designer of conversations, curriculum, and interfaces.

He is a Clinical Associate Professor in New College at the University of North Texas where he teaches classes in design thinking and interaction design. Prior to joining UNT, he taught at The University of Texas at Dallas, where he was founding director of the ATEC Usability Lab, which fosters collaborative research with community partners and offers experiential learning to students.

In spring 2020, he was Designer-in-Residence for the SMU Masters in Design and Innovation program.

While at UT Dallas, he was Director of Design for the ArtSciLab, a transdisciplinary research lab helping the arts, science, and technology communities by pursuing initiatives of societal urgency and cultural timeliness.

He holds bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Economics as well as an MFA in Arts and Technology.

https://www.theiaconference.com/

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

39. Michele Williams

The Iowa Idea: Michele Williams

“2020 Is really the year of sensemaking.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Dr. Michele Williams. Professor Williams, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, has taught negotiations to executives, startups, MBAs, and undergraduates at leading schools of management for over ten years. She is co-author of the Four Capabilities Assessment. Michele’s research focuses on negotiation, leadership, sensemaking, and trust, as well as women in leadership and entrepreneurship.

We discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion improving sensemaking capabilities. We dig into the importance of sensemaking through the lens of her latest article “The Overlooked Key to Leading Through Chaos.” If you’re looking at ways to improve leadership in your organization, you’ll love this episode. Links to resources from Dr. Williams are in the episode description.

It was an honor having Michele on the podcast. I thank her for her time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Michele

Professor Michele Williams, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, has taught negotiations to executives, startups, MBAs, and undergraduates at leading schools of management for over 10 years. She is co-author of the Four Capabilities Assessment.

The research and work of Dr. Williams (University of Michigan, Ph.D.), which began with a focus on Trust and Relationships at work, now intersects with work on Women in Leadership & Entrepreneurship. She addresses two challenges that organizations face:

Trust and Relationships—Building, maintaining, and repairing trust in team-based relationships and across demographic and organizational boundaries; Sustaining high performing, cross-boundary relationships.

Women in Leadership & Entrepreneurship— Social construction of gender; Gender equity within firms and across established and entrepreneurial ventures; Factors affecting women as team members, boundary spanners, and business owners.

Michele, assistant professor and the John L. Miclot Fellow in Entrepreneurship, recently joined the Management & Organizations’ faculty at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. She is also a scholar at Cornell University’s Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution and with the Smith Family Business Initiative Cornell’s Johnson College of Business. Previously, she was a member of the faculty at Cornell University and MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

She has authored papers and case studies, published in notable academic journals, and speaks at academic and professional conferences on her topics of research. She produced a unique course offering on Women in Leadership, Negotiation & Entrepreneurship, and has spoken on this topic at JP Morgan. She is co-author The Four Capabilities Leadership Assessment—an online 360° assessment used by organizations to enhance the leadership potential of managers.

Dr. Williams earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Johns Hopkins University, her Master of Arts degree in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

Sensemaking quiz:  http://drmichelewilliams.com/leading-through-chaos-quiz/

Sensemaking article: https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-overlooked-key-to-leading-through-chaos/

Website: HTTP://drmichelewilliams.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drmichelewilliams/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MicheleWilliamz

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

38. Gary Kroeger

The Iowa Idea: Gary Kroeger

“Life is a journey.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Gary Kroeger. Gary was born in Cedar Falls and attended Northwestern University. In Chicago he helped found The Practical Theatre Company with fellow alums Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall.  This association caught the eye of Saturday Night Live producers and the three of them became regulars on SNL. A political enthusiast who has run for Congress as well at the State House, Gary continues his blog and podcast “Gary Has Issues” and is a featured columnist in the Waterloo Courier.

It was Gary’s work on SNL, specifically a sketch of Larry’s Corner, that hooked me on Saturday Night Live. We talked about the fun and challenges of producing a weekly live show.

Gary and I talk about his journey\and approach to craft, the importance of putting in the reps, and the application of an improv mindset in business. I appreciated Gary’s advice from one of his teachers – “do something every day to improve yourself.”

It was an honor having Gary on the podcast. I thank him for his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Gary

Gary Kroeger was born in Cedar Falls and attended Northwestern University.  In Chicago he helped found The Practical Theatre Company with fellow alums Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall.  This association caught the eye of Saturday Night Live producers and the three of them became regulars on the venerable late-night comedy show.

After SNL, Gary moved to Los Angeles for a series on CBS, called Spies with George Hamilton and later produced George’s daytime chat show The George and Alana Show.  Television appearances on many popular shows led to starring roles in films A Man Called Sarge, The Return of the Shaggy Dog and Archie To Riverdale and Back.  Gary went on to host versions of The Newlywed Game and the classic Beat the Clock. He was the weatherman in a popular episode of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.

In 2003 Gary moved back to Cedar Falls and works as Creative Director for Mudd Advertising and is the CEO of Outlier Creative Solutions.  He also starred in Holiday Inn, The Man of La Mancha, I Do I Do, The Music Man, White Christmas, and Guys and Dolls at the Cedar Falls Community Theater.

As the father of two boys, as well as a stepfather to 3 other children, community involvement has been an important factor in Gary’s life.  He is the statewide spokesman for Court Appointment Special Advocates for abused and neglected children, and was instrumental in the creation of Safe Kids, Iowa.

A political enthusiast who has run for Congress as well at the State House, Gary continues his blog and podcast “Gary Has Issues” and is a featured columnist in the Waterloo Courier.

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music was written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).